DCist Is Done As WAMU Shifts Focus From Digital Back To Audio


American University’s public radio station WAMU has announced the closure of its digital news platform, DCist. The move came with layoffs involving fifteen staff members, several of whom reportedly found out from a news article published before a staff meeting.

During that meeting, staffers reported that WAMU General Manager Erika Pulley-Hayes read from a script without taking questions. She said the shutdown is part of a broader strategy shift by WAMU towards focusing on audio and live experiences, aiming to deepen engagement with the Washington community through a new local show and partnerships with content providers.

The DCist homepage now has an automatic popup that reads, “Thank you for visiting and supporting DCist. Since 2018, it has been a part of WAMU 88.5, the Washington region’s public media and NPR member station. As of February 23, the site will no longer publish new content. Please visit WAMU.org for local news and programming.” Visitors are redirected to WAMU.org after 15 seconds.

This shift has sparked criticism from staff and the WAMU union, highlighting concerns over leadership and both the station and American University’s commitment to local journalism. The move mirrors more widespread public media layoffs at both individual stations like KCRW in Los Angeles and at NPR’s overreaching structure.

Virginia Congressman Don Beyer posted, “DCist and the journalists who run it provide essential, irreplaceable reporting to keep us informed about what is happening in our community. This is awful news.”


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